In April of my senior year of high school, I made the quickest decision I think I have ever made.
I’ve been artistically inclined my whole life. I was always interested in careers related to design, architecture, English, art, education (etc). On a whim, I visited the engineering department during my college’s Accepted Students Day.
I listened to a 20-minute presentation and the next thing I knew I was marching down to the admissions office to change my major from arts undeclared to engineering--just like that. Quite honestly, I didn’t really know what engineering was all about, I just knew that it sounded like a good career.
I realized very quickly after starting school that-- yes, engineering is an amazing career. There is no doubt that we need engineers. But it’s certainly not for everyone. It takes passion to be an engineer. This passion was something that I admired in my fellow classmates when I could see the fascination in their eyes when we learned about fuel cells, solar panels, and Lewis structures. I wished that I could have felt the same. However, my mind was somewhere else.
While they were excited to study the powerpoint slides on Fuel Cells, I was practicing my name in calligraphy all over the back of my fuel cell homework--which I taught myself how to do. There were a few instances when I was late to Calculus because I needed to take a photo of the falling leaves on campus when the lighting was just right. When it came time to do my Calculus problem set, I would sometimes have trouble getting started because I was distracted watching videos of artists teaching their skills. And the list goes on. Not only was my mind somewhere else, my passion was too.
Focused on having a career that sounds impressive-- and is impressive, I chose a path that wasn’t right for me. Looking back, I think I knew that it wasn’t right. I love art. I love design. I love English. I love education. As much as I wished I could have been, I am definitely not fond of fuel cells, solar panels and Lewis structures.
The bottom line is--choose a major that is right for you and don’t be afraid to change your mind. I can’t express how much happier I am now that I am on track to pursue what is truly of interest to me and I think many would benefit if they did the same.